Tag: Saturn

By on June 21, 2017

18 -1992 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Lately, I’ve taken you back in time when it’s my turn to offer up a Question of the Day. Today is no exception, as we’re going to discuss the past and the future at the same time. Now, while your head is spinning and you reach for a VHS copy of Back to the Future, allow me to explain.

We’re going to discuss the car brand you’d like to resurrect, and the models it would offer today. Sound like fun? (Read More…)

By on March 29, 2017

Saturn Vue Hybrid Engine Bay, Image: © 2017 Bozi Tatarevic

Last week, I noticed a new stain on the driveway in the spot where my wife parks our Saturn Vue Hybrid. A quick sniff test revealed it to be automatic transmission fluid and an inspection of the Vue showed a leak at the transmission pan gasket. The car has just crossed the 100,000 mile mark and the worn gasket decided to accelerate my plans for a transmission fluid change.

Like many modern cars, the transmission dipstick is absent on the Vue, so checking the level is not a quick task. Adding fluid is even more time consuming and requires removal and disassembly of multiple components just to get to the fill plug.

I went out and picked up a filter, gasket, and some ATF and decided to tackle the convoluted process of this transmission fluid change.

(Read More…)

By on March 13, 2017

2004 Saturn Ion in Denver wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2017 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

The Saturn Ion is one of those cars you still see on the street today, perhaps not enough to notice, but it’s of minor historical interest as the Saturn-branded cousin of the Chevy Cobalt/Pontiac G5.

Most of the time, the Ion is just background noise to me in the GM section of a big self-service wrecking yard, something I pass by while looking for a Cimarron or Reatta. However, I had heard that the Knoxvegas Lowballers 24 Hours of LeMons team had adapted Ion electric power steering to their mid-Duratec-powered Geo Metro, and I was curious as what this alleged steering column-mounted rig looked like. (Read More…)

By on February 14, 2017

2008 Pontiac Solstice, Image: General Motors

General Motors has issued an airbag recall for the long-gone Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. The recall relates to the passenger presence sensor (PPS), which may become damaged and cause the passenger airbag to not deploy during a crash.

We initially covered this issue in 2015 after noticing that complaints were piling up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and that the PPS design was similar to other models already recalled by GM. (Read More…)

By on February 10, 2017

Malibu Redline

Chevrolet is introducing a new Redline trim for most of its current models. Actually, I should say it’s reintroducing the trim because Red Line — styled as two words — was pre-bankruptcy General Motors’ designation for Saturn’s signature performance models.

Unlike the Saturn models, the Chevy Redlines don’t offer appear to offer any dynamic advantages and are simply mid-level trimmed vehicles with special wheels and paint. That’s sort annoying when GM has decided to name the cars after the maximum safe speed of an engine. I cannot believe I’m saying this but it kind of makes me nostalgic for the sporty Saturns.  (Read More…)

By on January 20, 2016

2015 Ram 1500 Rebel

FCA has to clean up its act in a hurry, or pay a lot more to sell cars in the future.

That, Europe wants Volkswagen to treat its owners the same as American owners, General Motors’ lawyers get down and dirty and Porsche’s plug-in 911 … after the break!

(Read More…)

By on November 25, 2015

GMIgnitionAndSwitchAssembly02(1)

A federal judge Wednesday denied a request to make available communication between GM and its lawyers over certain cases involving defective ignition switches, Reuters reportedThe documents will remain secret because of attorney-client privilege, the judge wrote.

Lawsuits against GM allege that the company tried to further cover up its defective ignition switches. Those lawsuits sought to uncover documents between the automaker and its lawyers in three separate cases.

“… the case evaluations have all the hallmarks of dispassionate, sober evaluations (perhaps, in hindsight, too dispassionate and sober for their own good) by counsel of the costs and benefits of litigating the cases to their conclusion — just what one would might expect in a defense file and in the absence of a crime or fraud,” Judge Jesse Furman wrote in his ruling. (Read More…)

By on October 27, 2015

1984 Saturn Concept CarIn a 1992 op-ed that appeared in the Indianapolis Star and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, I expounded on the predictions of the MIT-based authors of “The Machine That Changed the World”, and lean production. I cited that book, and Consumer Reports’ glowing review of the Saturn as evidence that real competition could make the U.S. auto industry great once again. Subsequently, I bought a Saturn, which ultimately proved inferior in durability to the car I had shopped it against, the Integra. Looking back more than two decades, how have we succeeded, and how have we failed, and how did the MIT authors’ predictions hold up?


Few experts would have predicted that an all new American car could have matched the first year reliability of the Toyotas and Hondas, the best of the Japanese. Yet General Motors’ Saturn did just that, according to the April Consumer Reports.

On top of that, the car has all the practical appeal of the old Volkswagen Beetle. The plastic body panels are built to take parking lot abuse without denting or scratching. But damaged panels can be replaced easily and inexpensively. How many people does it take to change a headlight on a Saturn? Just one, and it’s as easy as changing a lightbulb.

(Read More…)

By on October 22, 2015

IMG_0124

I recently did something stupid that put me in a dangerous situation, but it taught me a lot.

Ever since the days of the Audi 5000’s unintended acceleration issue (yes, grasshopper, Toyota wasn’t the first automaker to face the matter), I’ve wondered something.

Even if the problem really is a mechanical or electronic defect causing the acceleration (I’m in the skeptics’ camp on that, the component between the seat and the steering wheel is likely the defective one), why didn’t the drivers just shift into neutral and use the brakes to slow and then stop the car? (Read More…)

By on September 1, 2015

 

TTAC commentator Anomaly149 writes:

Sajeev, here’s one for you:

I have a CVT-equipped 2004 Saturn Ion Quad Coupe with ~140,000 miles. While you can write a book on the things that are weird with the car (key won’t release from cylinder sometimes unless you push this button inside the steering column, sometimes the neutral safety switch actuator machine-guns when stopped at a stoplight, it eats front sway links like it’s a contest, etc.), so far it’s been reliable and efficient. (Read More…)

By on July 20, 2015

burntmain

Last week, we learned General Motors was recalling the majority of their Hummer H3 and H3T models due to a fire risk from a melting blower motor resistor and harness. We also learned GM didn’t issue the recall until they were threatened by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A few days ago, Jalopnik’s Michael Ballaban pointed out the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon were also at risk due to similar components. These trucks may not be the last of the affected models as the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky also shared many HVAC components with the Hummer H3.

Searching through the NHTSA complaints database and user forums yielded many examples of melted and burnt blower motor resistors and harnesses for the GM roadster twins.

(Read More…)

By on June 9, 2015

2016 Honda HR-V

They’re potent, popular and can’t be stopped. Everyone wants to buy one. Every dealer wants to sell one. Just like the crack-like epidemic of SUVs in the ’90s, the subcompact crossover is the blue meth of today.

Here’s what happened overnight.

(Read More…)

By on May 27, 2015

Gary writes:

Good Afternoon,

Today when I got into my 2002 Saturn SL2, the power door locks started chattering. Each door, over the space of about 45 minutes, had the same thing happen. Sometimes it would be one at a time, other times it would be two or more. I also noticed that the inside locks – the “up/down” button, not the little lever you use to manually unlock the car – would not work, only later to work. For now I have removed the lock fuse and that stopped the problem. I wait and plug the fuse back in, and the sporadic chattering once again begins. Sometimes it is completely quiet. Any thoughts?

Thank you!

(Read More…)

By on February 27, 2015

2009_Saturn_Sky_Redline_Ruby_Red_Limited_Edition

So I’m driving along the other day, and I get up behind a Saturn Relay. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this vehicle, imagine a minivan with 1992-era styling and a 1994-era interior and 1996-era switchgear, except it inexplicably came out in 2005. Seriously: it was the kind of thing where, when it debuted, you checked both sides of the van just to make sure General Motors knew everyone was doing dual sliding doors now.

(Read More…)

By on February 12, 2015

02 - 2001 Saturn L-200 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinSaturn needed some new models by the late 1990s, and so GM spent a billion or so bucks to make an Americanized, plastic-bodied Opel Vectra and called it the L-Series. The L, which went through a bewildering series of model-name changes during its 2000-2005 production run, never sold very well and more or less sank without a trace. That makes it historically interesting, in sort of a run-up-to-the-bankruptcy way, much like the 2001 Pontiac Aztek Junkyard Find we saw yesterday. Yes, we’re having 21st Century Junkyard Find Week! (Read More…)

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